Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More New JDM Stuff

There's another new John D MacDonald re-print out that I neglected to mention in my earlier post.

Wonder Audiobook, the publisher that previously released eBook versions of A Bullet for Cinderella and the science fiction anthology Death Quotient and Other Stories, has just come out with a new mystery anthology titled Masters of Noir: Volume Three. Among the stories included in the collection is a MacDonald beauty, "The Killer," a work that originally appeared in the January 1955 issue of the mystery digest Manhunt. The story has been previously anthologized twice, once in Bill Pronzini's 1987 collection Prime Suspects, once in the JDM Bibliophile, and I wrote a piece on it back in April which you can read here. It's a great little tale about an especially detestable lout who sets his sights on the wife of a friend. Highly recommended.

Unfortunately, one look at the title of the story in the collection would seem to indicate that Wonder Audiobook's attention to detail is no better now than it was when they published Death Quotient. That collection, a great assembly of previously-unavailable JDM's sf novellas and short stories, is marred throughout by numerous formatting problems and typographical errors. Here they've listed the story as "The Killers," which is either sloppy editing or a blatant attempt to confuse the work with Ernest Hemmingway's 1927 Nick Adams tale of the same name. That story was the source of two great crime films (and several obscure ones), both wonderful examples of film noir. Which MacDonald's story is not -- "noir," that is. It doesn't even come close to anything that loosely resembles noir, even today's expansive definition of the genre. What it is doing in an anthology called Masters of Noir is anybody's guess. Still, it's a great opportunity for anyone who hasn't read it yet to obtain a copy. And with a list price of only $4.99, it should hardly put a dent in anyone's budget... no matter what they are calling it.

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